Photographer Rory White‘s Rorshak Tape Transfer Series might look like some kind of surreal digital art, but the images were actually created without Photoshop. White shot portraits of his subjects, printed them out, and invited the subjects to paint, tear, and alter the prints. He then covered the image with packing tape, dropped it in hot water, and peeled off the paper on the back (like a Polaroid emulsion transfer). The semi-transparent image would then be hung from a stand, and the subject rephotographed while standing behind it. Read more…
In February 2008, Polaroid announced that it was ceasing production of instant film. ‘TIME ZERO’ is a documentary that tells the story of the last year of Polaroid film in three acts. Act I introduces the magic of Polaroid through the perspective of Polaroid artists and former employees of the corporation. Act II begins with the discontinuation of instant film and covers the grass-roots movement to keep it alive. Act III centers on ‘The Impossible Project’ and follows their against-the-odds effort to reinvent instant film.
The film was created by Polaroid enthusiast Grant Hamilton, and will premier on April 28 at the Independent Film Festival in Somerville, MA — three miles away from Polaroid’s former headquarters.
After reading about the Wakhan Corridor in the New York Times, French photographers Fabrice Nadjari and Cedric Houin decided to visit the remote region in Afghanistan in the summer of 2011, walking for 24 days through a 140 mile stretch. Their project, titled “Traces of Time”, involved capturing instant photos of the villagers they met:
When [Nadjari and Houin] arrived in the first village, they found that even photographs, which freeze time, worked differently. The portraits they took with Polaroid cameras developed oddly, and degraded rapidly, because of the high altitude and harsh conditions. But this made them no less valuable to their subjects, many of whom had never seen a photograph. Some had never seen an outsider.
The local Afghans marveled at the fragile images and lined up to have their photos taken.
“There was something extremely precious in the way they were holding the image, in the way they wanted to get it as soon as it got out of the camera,” Mr. Nadjari said. “It was both the gift and the interaction.” [#]
The photographers soon decided that they would shoot portraits of the villagers holding their own portraits, with the instant photos seen in color while the rest of the portrait is converted to monochrome, saying that it “stops time, and mixes the past and present. The present looks like the past, and the past like the present.”
Instant is a newly launched Mac application that brings an Instagram-esque, Polaroid-faking app to your desktop. It allows you to turn any digital photograph into a Polaroid picture look-alike, and offers 28 different filters for giving your images vintage looks (8 of which are designed to look like Polaroid films). You can even add classic Polaroid frames to images and jot notes onto them. The app costs $7 and is available from the Mac App Store.
Here’s a sweet DIY project idea by Brittany Morin that’s perfect for that special day that’s right around the corner: scratch-off cards made from Polaroid pictures! Basically all you need is some acrylic paint and some dish soap. Mix the two together with a ratio of one part soap for every two parts paint and you’ll have yourself some scratch-able paint! Read more…
Say hello to the latest item in the PetaPixel Store: the Instant Photo Pendant Necklace! This beautiful pendant is designed to look exactly like a 1-inch tall Polaroid picture. Insert your favorite 0.8-inch square photos through a slot in the side, and keep it safe and snug with a clear plastic square (included). The copper and iron pendant is coated with white and comes with a silver-colored 18-inch chain. Buy one while supplies last for just $10 from our store (shipping is free for US residents). Read more…
Smartphones are constantly getting better at imitating compact cameras, but so far we haven’t seen many cameras that attempt to mimic smartphones. That changes today with the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera, a 16-megapixel compact camera unveiled at CES. It’s a point-and-shoot camera that’s pretty much a smartphone without the phone. Powered by Android, the camera features a 3x (36-108mmm) optical zoom lens, a 3.2-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, 720p video recording, and geotagging. The Android OS means that users can install and use Android Market apps on the camera (e.g. Instagram once it becomes available). It’ll be available starting in April for $300.
Build your own Polaroid camera classics! This Do It Yourself craft set makes you the proud owner of six legendary, analog instant camera replicas (see the Specs tab for the included camera models). The paper models of classic Polaroid cameras are fun to create and perfect in every detail, including mini faux Polaroid photos that develop when rubbed.
Photographer and craftaholic Parul Arora sells beautiful Polaroid picture ceramic coasters through her Etsy shop justnoey for about $12 each. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also try buying some blank white ceramic coasters and making your own, though transferring your photos onto the tiles might be a bit difficult. One option might be to glue a print onto the tile and then paint over it with Mod Podge to seal it.